Ask the Experts: What should be in your ‘Cat Kit?’

What should be in your 'Cat Kit?'

Catastrophe Adjusters, What Items Should be in Your ‘Cat Kit?’

10 necessary items for getting the claims job done.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a veteran or rookie, being prepared for your claims adjuster job is a must. Being equipped doesn’t end with getting your licenses; you will also need a few tools to make you successful. Here at TheBestIRS, we talked with industry experts to determine which items are essential to the claims adjuster. Here, we share ten items to add to your Cat Kit as soon as possible.

Ladder
If you’re working as a Property Claims Adjuster, you will definitely need a ladder (or even two) to successfully complete your job. Our experts recommend purchasing an aluminum 16 – 20 foot ladder, as well as an 8-foot telescoping ladder. Having two ladders in your Cat Kit will be useful if the property you’re inspecting requires a double-pull. Our experts also recommend reviewing ladder safety measures – prior to your first assignment.

Cougar Paw Boots
Experts agree these boots are a must-have for any field claims adjuster because of their dual-functionality. If you’re going to be climbing ladders and inspecting roofs, these boots will be an important safety measure because of their interchangeable bottoms. According to the Cougar Paws website, “These pads provide performance on shingles, plywood, wood shakes, felt and slate.”

100-Foot Roll Tape Measure
When you’re working Property, you’ll want a 100-foot tape measure in your Cat Kit. Our experts agree that this is an appropriate length to save your back. Lufkin is a popular brand among veterans. With a longer tape measure you won’t have to bend down as much as those only carrying a 25-foot tape measure.

With that being said, our experts recommend carrying both a 100-foot and 25-foot tape measure in your Cat Kit.

Shingle Gauge
When a claims adjuster is inspecting a roof, this handy gauge measures the thickness of shingles. The gauge determines if it’s a 25-35 year roof, so it’s a necessity for your Cat Kit.

Roof Pitch Gauge
When inspecting a roof, it is imperative to report the accurate pitch of the roof. Roof steepness determines the overall cost, because the more steep the roof, the more dangerous it is for roofers to shingle. A roof pitch gauge will accurately tell you how steep the roof is and the good news is, you don’t even have to buy one. Our experts recommend downloading the ‘Pitch Gauge’ app onto your smartphonSign up for Insurance Job Alerts from TheBestIRS to be notified of new openings near you.e – to save room in your Cat Kit.

Chalk
If you’re inspecting hail damage, you will need to head to the kid’s section at the store and pick up some chalk. When on the roof, you’ll use the chalk to draw a 10 foot by 10 foot square on each slope to count how many hits there are per square. The client will inform the claims adjuster how many hits each square can have before the roof is deemed a total loss.

[Related: Independent Insurance Adjuster vs. Claims Adjuster: What’s the Difference?]
 
Magnet
Our experts suggest a magnet so no matter which claims adjuster job you’re working on, you can easily tell if roof gutters are aluminum or metal.

Moisture Meter
If your claims adjuster job leads you to handling water back-up claims, invest in a moisture meter. Place it up against a sheetrock wall to gauge the amount of moisture content.

After posting this article on social media, we had a lot of great feedback from other catastrophe adjusters and wanted to add their suggestions:

Mold Testing Kit

One of our LinkedIn followers, Shelly shared that she would also include a Mold Testing Kit in her supplies. She stated, “I include a mold testing kit too. That way I can test air quality. You want to make sure that whichever kit you choose includes two collection containers (one as the control and one for the ) and that you send it off to a testing facility. You won’t need them for every claim but they are great to have when dealing with water claims, when the insured is already mentioning mold and when a PA is involved.”

Cash
Another one of our LinkedIn followers, Nicholas, suggested carrying cash on hand when adjusting catastrophe claims. “During a severe catastrophe, power outages mean that everything, from Gatorade to bottled water to power bars, has to be purchased with cash, and nobody ever seems to have change.”

Electronic Spares
Nicholas also suggested adding electronic spares to your ‘Cat Kit.’ “Spares for anything that will break if it falls off a roof is also a must.” Finding an open electronics store when the power has been out for a week or more is very hard to find in the field.

Our experts also recommend these items for your Cat Kit:
• Clipboard
• Diagram paper
• Pen or Pencil
• Flashlight
• Calculator
• Laser measuring device

If you have any additional items, be sure to leave a comment!

Be sure to sign up for our Insurance Job Alerts for catastrophe events if you haven’t already!

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